Karl Horstmann started Triple Horse in 1992 with his wife Amy when they lived in Conyers. The focus of the company is to develop, produce and market values-based entertainment that appeals to family values and tells uplifting stories.
COVINGTON -- A good movie leaves an audience discussing the story. A good commercial leaves the viewer interested in the product. Creating that movie or commercial can be very complex, and Covington-based Triple Horse seeks to make that process easier.
Triple Horse is a one-stop media house that offers turnkey services for filmmakers and writers. Located off Bob Williams Parkway, across from Georgia Piedmont Technical College, Triple Horse employs around 15 people full time and operates in a 40,000-square-foot facility outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, screening rooms and design studio.
Triple Horse Pictures is the primary subsidiary that works with the other in-house corporations, such as Triple Horse Studios, Triple Horse entertainment, Hitching Post Digital and 17 Hands Design, among others.
Karl Horstmann, founder and president of Triple Horse, explained that a filmmaker can hire Triple Horse to take care of as much or as little of the filmmaking process as he needs.
For example, Alex Kendrick and his brother Stephen Kendrick, who wrote the independent Christian film, "Courageous," needed only some equipment, so they rented cameras and lights from Triple Horse to film the movie in Albany.
On the other hand, executives with Chick-fil-A hired Triple Horse to essentially do everything for a commercial, including building the set, filming and editing.
Dale Weller, chief operating officer of Triple Horse, said Triple Horse currently has the second largest green screen in Georgia. Earlier this month, the company filmed a commercial for Bridgestone Golf using a 50-camera array on the green screen.
Triple Horse also builds sets for many large church ministries, including In Touch Ministries and Free Chapel.
Horstmann started in the film business when he was hired as media editor for Mt. Paran Church of God in Atlanta. He was later hired as an editor with Turner Broadcasting and soon became director of visual effects.
He and his wife, Amy, started Triple Horse in 1992 when they lived in Conyers. He moonlighted with Triple Horse for four years, but after working on the Richard Childress Racing documentary, "The Making of Champions," he was able to leave Turner and focus full-time on Triple Horse.
The company grew from a 2,000-square-foot studio and editing suite in Conyers to a 5,000-square-foot facility. Triple Horse doubled in size again before moving to Covington in 2002.
Today, Triple Horse offers a production company, a design agency, filming, post-production services, equipment rental and set design and construction.
In addition to production and editing, Horstmann writes scripts and helps others develop theirs.
"My heart is to do storytelling," Horstmann said. "The best 30-second commercial is story-driven."
The focus of Triple Horse is to develop, produce and market values-based entertainment. Horstmann believes there is a real market for movies that appeal to family values that highlight Americana and tell uplifting stories.
He said the success of Mel Gibson's "The Passion of The Christ" demonstrated that there is a wide audience for religious-themed movies, which inspired the Kendrick brothers to write and produce the popular Christian films, "Facing The Giants," "Fireproof" and "Courageous."
While Horstmann and Weller both began their careers in Christian settings, Triple Horse also develops films for a wider audience, but always with values-based themes.
For instance, Horstmann has written and is directing a film, "American Blood Brothers," which is an action thriller starring Michael Waddell and David DeLuise.
Horstmann said the movie-making business is changing, putting Triple Horse in a strategic position to assist aspiring filmmakers who would not be able to get their movies produced or distributed through traditional means.
"We try to be a place to mentor filmmakers not only on the craft of filmmaking, but moreover, with the business of filmmaking," he said, pointing out that navigating the waters of entertainment laws and copyright laws is very tricky.
He said there is a steep learning curve in moviemaking, but if you can't turn a profit on your first movie, you'll probably not get the chance to make the second one.
"Everything in the movie industry is all about making the next film," Horstmann said.